What Is It?
Angioplasty is a procedure in which a tiny device is inserted into narrowed blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This device widens the arteries and increases blood flow.
Balloon angioplasty, also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, or PTCA, uses a small, thin tube (called a catheter) with a tiny balloon at its tip. The tube is inserted into the bloodstream through a large vessel in the arm or leg. By watching the progress of the tube on an X-ray, the cardiologist guides the tube into the heart, where it is inserted into a narrowed coronary artery. The tiny balloon is then inflated to widen the narrowed area.
by Gevorg A. Poghosian, Ph.D.
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